26+ Delicious Pasta Side Dishes

When it comes to rounding out your Italian dinner with a delightful pasta side dish, the possibilities are endless. From classic comfort foods to more sophisticated creations, these sides offer a world of flavor and variety.Some popular options include olive tortellini pasta salad, creamy garlic shells, chili mac, and many others.

Whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or rich and indulgent, there’s a pasta side dish that’s sure to please.Beyond just providing a flavorful complement to your main course, these sides can also add some much-needed texture and visual appeal to your plate.

Olive Tortellini Pasta Salad


image source

When I first thought of tortellini pasta salad, it was a straightforward and delicious concept. However, when I introduced some olives to the mix, everything changed. The brininess and savory flavor of the olives added an unexpected depth to the dish that elevated it from mere pleasantness to unforgettable. The combination is a game-changer, allowing the pasta salad to stand out in a crowd.

Creamy Garlic Shells


image source

Indulge in the ultimate pasta lover’s delight by combining two dishes into one. This delectable side dish is a match made in heaven, pairing perfectly with your Italian main course. The star of the show is undoubtedly the shells smothered in a rich and creamy garlic sauce that will leave you craving more. So satisfying, you might just want to turn this side dish into a standalone entree by adding some succulent seafood. And if you’re feeling virtuous, toss in some veggies to give it a nutritious twist.

Chili Mac


image source

Transform your mac and cheese into a bold, savory masterpiece with this innovative chili mac recipe. For those seeking a flavor profile with a kick, this dish is the perfect solution. The best part? It’s an adaptable base that can be whipped up at any time, thanks to its straightforward combination of chili and cheese sauce.

Mac & Cheese


image source

Macaroni and cheese, the quintessential comfort food, is hard to resist. The rich, velvety sauce coats each pasta strand, elevating the dish to new heights. This classic combination pairs perfectly with cream-based Italian dishes, but it’s equally delightful as a standalone side. What sets mac and cheese apart from other comfort foods is its versatility. Take it up a notch by adding ground beef or chicken, transforming it into a satisfying entree. For an added touch of sophistication, sprinkle in some bacon bits and breadcrumbs, or opt for higher-end cheeses like gruyere to add depth and complexity.

Orzo with Mushrooms, Scallions, and Parmesan


image source

What’s truly astonishing about this recipe is the remarkable speed at which it can be prepared, yet its flavor profile is remarkably rich and savory. In fact, you’ll find that the combination of tastes will leave a lasting impression on your loved ones, prompting them to ask for seconds – and perhaps even thirds!

Garlic Parmesan Pasta


image source

When it comes to Italian-inspired meals, garlic parmesan pasta is the ultimate comfort food. This delectable side dish boasts a trifecta of flavors – the satisfying texture of pasta, the creaminess of melted cheese, and the pungency of garlic. The harmonious blend of these ingredients creates a dish that pairs effortlessly with seafood dishes, chicken entrees, or even as a standalone main course when paired with broccoli or meatballs. For an added bonus, this versatile recipe can be easily repurposed for a second meal, making it a true culinary MVP. To complete the Italian feast, don’t forget to serve it alongside crusty breadsticks and a rich sauce for a truly satisfying dining experience.

Lobster Mac and Cheese


image source

When it comes to elevating a comfort food staple like mac and cheese, the addition of lobster is a game-changer. The rich flavor and tender texture of the crustacean pair perfectly with the creamy pasta, creating a dish that’s sure to impress. What’s more, this recipe requires minimal effort and preparation, making it an ideal option for those short on time or looking to add a touch of sophistication to their meal without breaking a sweat.

Cheesy Taco Pasta


image source

Pasta infused with taco seasoning is a match made in heaven, a combination that’s hard to resist. Whether you’re serving it alongside your favorite Mexican meal or enjoying it on Taco Tuesday at home or in the office, this dish is sure to please. The beauty of this pasta lies in its versatility – you can tailor the sauce to your liking, from rich and indulgent to light and tangy. For a more authentic flavor profile, try pairing it with chicken or beef for added depth. The taco seasoning is the true star of the show, bringing a bold and zesty Mexican-inspired flavor to the dish. This crowd-pleaser will be an instant hit at your next dinner party, as long as you’ve got enough to go around! Serving it with a dollop of sour cream and some crunchy tortilla chips on the side is the perfect accompaniment. And for those who like a little heat, adding some jalapenos to the mix takes this dish to the next level.

Creamy Beef and Shells


image source

When it comes to sides, beef and shells packs a punch of flavor that’s hard to beat. The beauty of making your own is having the freedom to experiment with ingredients, ensuring the perfect blend for your taste buds. Whether you’re serving it at the table or enjoying it on-the-go, this dish is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Pasta Primavera


image source

Pasta primavera is an ideal side dish due to its abundance of nutritious ingredients that are both delicious and unobtrusive. The subtle flavors of this dish make it an excellent choice for serving picky eaters, including children. What’s more, the recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables – such as carrots, broccoli, or other favorites – into the mix. A rich, creamy sauce brings everything together, while the combination of garlic, olive oil, and basil adds depth and complexity to each bite. This satisfying side dish is sure to leave everyone asking for seconds.

Macaroni Salad


image source

A staple of Italian cuisine is elevated to new heights with a simple yet flavorful pasta salad recipe that’s sure to become a household favorite. To create this mouthwatering dish, gather your essential ingredients: pasta noodles, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, celery seed, and green pepper. For added crunch and color, feel free to include carrots in the mix. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll be hooked and never settle for store-bought versions again.

5-Cheese Marinara


image source

A fundamental component of Italian cuisine is mastering a reliable marinara sauce recipe. This particular rendition takes the classic to new heights by incorporating five distinct types of cheese, ensuring an unparalleled depth of flavor. As the foundation for countless pasta dishes, this versatile sauce is not meant to be served as a standalone accompaniment but rather serves as the springboard for creating a multitude of delectable recipes. Once you’ve become proficient in the recipe, feel free to experiment with varying proportions of your preferred ingredients to tailor the flavor to your personal taste preferences.

Fettuccine Alfredo


image source

This timeless classic shows no signs of fading away, largely due to its enduring status as a top-notch pasta side dish. The best part? Preparing your own is remarkably straightforward, allowing you to whip it up in no time – whether you’re getting ready for a dinner gathering or craving a speedy snack. The sauce itself is a masterclass in simplicity, blending cream, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and of course, pasta noodles, with the option to add peas for an extra burst of flavor.

Pasta Carbonara


image source

Pasta carbonara is a mouthwatering side dish that’s surprisingly effortless to prepare. The key ingredients are spaghetti pasta, crispy bacon or pancetta, aromatic garlic, beaten eggs, salt, and pepper. While the sauce can be tailored to suit your taste, the foundation remains the same: combining these core elements with minimal heat to preserve their textures and create a velvety consistency. If you prefer a richer carbonara, substitute cream for eggs; for a lighter take, opt for milk instead. The crucial step is ensuring the ingredients cook together at a gentle simmer, allowing them to meld harmoniously without scrambling. Once you’ve tried this recipe, you may find yourself craving carbonara pasta daily. For added variety, feel free to incorporate cooked chicken into the mix and experience a delightful twist on this classic dish.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad


image source

The bacon ranch pasta salad is an ideal remedy for tempering the heat of a rich, spicy meal. Its refreshing essence will leave you questioning why you didn’t conjure this up sooner. This versatile dish harmonizes seamlessly with traditional Italian ingredients, allowing you to repurpose leftovers from your dinner and craft a satisfying salad.

Tortellini Pasta Salad


image source

The allure of tortellini lies not only in its perfectly cooked pasta but also in the rich, cheesy filling that tantalizes the taste buds. This delectable salad recipe is a masterclass in simplicity, requiring only a few ingredients and minimal effort to create an unforgettable dinner experience. While this dish caters to a wide range of palates, including kids and picky eaters, it’s equally impressive when elevated with added flavors from garlic, basil, and lemon juice, making it a surefire winner at the dinner table.

Garlic Butter Mushroom Pasta


image source

Indulge in a delectable side dish that’s impossible to resist! This recipe is a game-changer, and once you try it, it’ll become a staple in your household. What makes it so special? It’s surprisingly easy to prepare, even for the busiest of individuals. The secret lies in its harmonious blend of garlic pasta noodles cooked in butter, sautéed mushrooms, white wine, and parmesan cheese. The result is a creamy, flavorful dish that will leave you wanting more.

Italian Pasta Salad


image source

When it comes to pairing with spaghetti, this recipe is a match made in heaven. The best part? It’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies, hiding them among the delicious noodles. If you’re looking for an easy and quick side dish, look no further – this one can be whipped up in under 10 minutes. To make it, simply cook your spaghetti or macaroni noodles, toss together your favourite vegetables, and then combine everything with a dressing of your choice. The tangy flavour from the lemon juice and oil is the perfect accompaniment to the pasta, but be careful not to add too much dressing – you don’t want a soggy salad! The key to success lies in finding that perfect balance.

Balsalmic Mushroom Pasta


image source

For a dinner that’s both simple to prepare and impressive enough to serve guests, look no further than balsamic mushroom pasta. This vegetarian delight is sure to please even the most discerning palate, and the fact that it’s also healthy makes seconds a guilt-free affair. The combination of rich, cheesy flavors and earthy mushroom notes creates a truly satisfying dish that’s perfect for satisfying your cravings or showcasing your culinary skills to friends and family.

Creamy White Sauce Pasta


image source

While it may be tempting to devour this creamy white pasta without restraint, resisting the urge is crucial – for its sheer deliciousness might inspire an all-consuming craving. This versatile dish pairs exquisitely with a medley of ingredients, from savory sausage and pepperoni to bell peppers, olives, onions, and more. The sauce, replete with rich cheesy goodness and a subtle kick of spice, will leave your palate yearning for another taste. As one of the most adaptable and effortless pasta side dishes out there, it’s no wonder you’ll be incorporating this recipe into your weekly dinner rotation – just like many of us have.

Baked Ziti


image source

The aroma of freshly baked ziti is enough to get anyone’s taste buds excited. Combining pasta with a blend of cheddar, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese, plus a sprinkle of parsley, creates a rich and satisfying dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters. While adding meatballs can certainly elevate the flavor profile, this side dish is equally enjoyable on its own. The real showstopper, however, is the crispy crust that forms during baking – it adds a delightful textural element to each bite. To fully appreciate the flavors, be sure to have some warm garlic bread on hand to mop up any remaining sauce.

Pesto Pasta


image source

While store-bought pesto can be a convenient shortcut, making it from scratch is truly the best way to unlock its full flavor potential. By taking control of the ingredients and preparation process, you’ll be able to craft a dish that’s not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Pesto’s blend of healthy components – including basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil – will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished. To make this mouthwatering pasta recipe, simply sauté some chicken or shrimp to perfection, cook your pasta noodles al dente, combine the two with a generous helping of homemade pesto, and season as needed. The result is a dish that’s greater than the sum of its parts – a true culinary delight.

Shrimp Pasta


image source

Pasta and shrimp is a match made in heaven, with rich flavors that complement each other perfectly. It’s the kind of dish that’s hard to stop at just one serving – you’ll be tempted to go back for seconds (or thirds!). When you’re in the mood to indulge, this is the perfect recipe to make. And don’t be surprised if it steals the show as a side dish; people will be clamoring for more! The key is to make sure you have enough, because someone’s bound to do just that – go back for more.

Parmesan Orzo Pasta


image source

When it comes to deciding what goes well with spaghetti, this recipe is sure to impress. For added protein and flavor, consider tossing in some grilled chicken. The parmesan cheese is the key to the dish’s rich and creamy texture, but feel free to mix things up by incorporating cream cheese for a tangy twist. Another great addition is orzo pasta, which offers a distinct textural contrast to traditional noodle pasta. And the best part? This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, so you can focus on the main event without worrying about your side dish taking over.

Angel Hair Pasta


image source

One Italian staple that’s incredibly versatile and always a crowd-pleaser is angel hair pasta. By combining parmesan cheese, parsley, and optional garlic, you can create a dish that’s rich in flavor. The real magic happens when you craft the sauce by blending olive oil, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and parsley. The result is a harmonious balance of flavors that will leave you craving more. What’s more, this side dish is surprisingly simple to prepare yet packed with so much flavor that it’s almost impossible not to devour every last bite.

BLT Pasta Salad


image source

Experience the unexpected delight of pairing pasta with crispy bacon, red onion, lettuce, and tomatoes in a refreshing twist on traditional sides. This recipe’s winning combination will surprise and impress even the most discerning palates. Not only is it an easy and flavorful addition to dinner, but its portability makes it perfect for grab-and-go meals or parties. Feel free to elevate the dish with melted cheese for added richness, but the true highlight lies in the symphony of fresh flavors and textures that come together in each bite.

Final Words

Savor the flavors of these mouthwatering recipes with your loved ones. Whether you’re sharing a meal with family or gathering friends for a social occasion, these dishes are sure to bring people together. Take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences after trying them out!

Leave a Comment